I am very disappointed in how my porcelain veneers turned out. I had nine total veneers done about a month ago. I told the cosmetic dentist from the point he showed them to me, that the color looked way too white. So, the dentist sent them back to the laboratory. I wanted the veneers to blend in with my existing teeth, since all the new veneer work was done on the bottom. The color I wanted was A-2.
They came back from the lab and I went in for another appointment. The dentist just went ahead and permanently placed them without showing them to me again. They are still too white! My whole motivation to get the new veneers was for an upcoming wedding. So, I didn’t feel like disputing it at the time and I didn’t have any time before the wedding to have anything done anyway.
Then, not even a couple weeks after they were permanently bonded in place, one of them broke right in half. The dentist told me that I could come back in for up to two years, free of charge if I had any problem. But, shouldn’t they have been done right the first time? Should I be concerned at this point? Do you think my perspective may be skewed and it’s time to have a second opinion? I’m feeling overwhelmed by the whole situation. Not to mention the large investment I just made without satisfaction.
-Becky in Michigan
It is always difficult to understand exactly what has happened in a situation like this, without seeing you in person. But from what I’m understanding, it sounds like the dentist permanently bonded the veneers to your teeth without showing you the final product? Was there an agreement somewhere along the line that the porcelain veneers would be placed when they returned from the lab the second time? If you didn’t give your consent to place them, there is a big problem here. So, if the dentist placed the final veneers without asking you, which it sounds like may be the case, then you may have a case against the dentist.
Consent is the key to any kind of dental or medical treatment, including porcelain veneers, dental bonding or any type of cosmetic dentistry treatment. You are required to give consent or it is considered malpractice. Almost every cosmetic dentist will be absolutely sure that you love the way the veneers look before they are permanently bonded. A simple gesture or nod, doesn’t cut it. And there is also some warning signs going off regarding the color having had to be redone. This is a difficult situation to navigate through, especially without having seen your case.
To compound the color issue, having the veneer break after such a short time could mean that it was never properly bonded to the tooth. Porcelain veneers are very thin shells or porcelain, which get strength from being bonded directly to the tooth. Bonding technology and materials are highly complex and require extensive training and experience by a cosmetic dentist to do it right. It’s starting to sound like this dentist may not have that necessary understanding or experience.
Regarding the color being too white, try this simple test. When you compare your top teeth to the bottom teeth, which ones are whiter? Often times, you can get away with the bottom teeth appearing a bit darker, since they sit back further in your mouth. But if your bottom veneers are now whiter than your top teeth, that isn’t acceptable.
You would be wise to set up a consultation with an independent cosmetic dentist. Get his or her second opinion, and if they agree that this is not acceptable, you may have a valid refund request from your original dentist. Then, you can have the veneers done correctly. It sounds as if you may even have grounds to seek legal action and get the dental board involved. Of course, that is your discretion. Whatever the case, you deserve to have the work done correctly and to your satisfaction.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.